Also, the new Arm-based Raspberry Pi, co-developed by Citrix, IGEL and NComputing, is generally available.

Jeffrey Schwartz

February 26, 2021

6 Min Read

IGEL’s flagship end user computing (EUC) operating system for virtual client devices will work with Amazon WorkSpaces starting next week. IGEL CEO Jed Ayres this week announced an agreement with AWS to integrate the Amazon WorkSpaces client within IGEL OS.

Ayres revealed the Amazon WorkSpaces integration with IGEL OS during his keynote address at the company’s Disrupt Unite virtual event. IGEL OS is the company’s Linux-based EUC software supported on a wide ecosystem of devices, VDI and app workspace environments. While IGEL has partnership with numerous OEMs, it has grown in recent with its ties to Citrix, Microsoft and VMware.

IGEL’s profile in the VDI and end-user computing market has risen in recent years. Its growth accelerated further since forming a significant alliance with Microsoft in 2019. The two companies partnered to make IGEL OS the first validated Linux endpoint for Microsoft’s Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) service. The release of IGEL OS for WVD was in the spotlight at IGEL’s Disrupt conference just over a year ago.

AWS Shines

At Thursday’s event, held virtually this year because of the pandemic, it was AWS’ turn to take the spotlight. Amazon WorkSpaces will be available on IGEL OS starting March 1, Ayres said during the virtual event. The company is offering free trials.


IGEL’s Jed Ayres at Disrupt Unite 2021

Microsoft’s WVD and Amazon WorkSpaces are competitive virtual cloud desktop as-a-service (DaaS) offerings. But they also rely on different protocols. WVD uses Microsoft Remote’s Desktop Protocol (RDP), while Amazon WorkSpaces is based on Teradici’s PC-over-IP (PCoIP) protocol. IGEL licensed PCoIP from Teradici two years ago.

“Amazon WorkSpaces is a fully managed solution, true SaaS, built on the largest cloud infrastructure in the world,” Ayres said. “Amazon customers during COVID-19 were able to spin up thousands of workspaces in days, so that retailers and broadcasters and health care workers can stay productive.”

The Amazon WorkSpaces integration is not the first matchup between AWS and IGEL. Existing Amazon integrations include Amazon’s AppStream managed streaming service and Amazon Connect omnichannel contact center offering.

First IGEL Client on Arm is GA

Among other releases this week, IGEL’s first thin client running its Linux OS on an Arm-based device is now available. NComputing’s new RX420 Arm architecture Raspberry Pi4 is a thin client developed in partnership with Citrix and IGEL.

The three companies partnered a year ago to develop an enterprise thin client built with Arm’s System-on-chip (SoC) architecture. The RX420 is based on optimized versions of IGEL OS, Citrix Workspace App and Citrix Workspace Hub. The device includes built-in dual-band Wi-Fi capability and a gigabit Ethernet interface with support for dual, native 4K displays.

With the optimized IGEL OS, Citrix HDX and Chromium browser, the RX420 is designed for large enterprise and IoT deployments. Moreover, according to IGEL, its Universal Management Suite (UMS) can manage up to 300,000 distributed RX420 endpoints.

Citrix product and design management EVP Sridhar Mullapudi said the new client will boost Arm for enterprise and industrial solutions.

“While Arm has gained a lot of prominence on the consumer side of the industry for a long time, it’s rapidly evolving and growing in the enterprise side,” Mullapudi said.

High Performance UD7 Endpoint

IGEL also launched a new thin client designed to render high-performance graphics, set for release at the end of …

… April. The IGEL UD7 is powered by AMD’s Ryzen Embedded V1605B processor. The 4-core, 8-thread 3.6GHZ CPU, which includes Radeon Vega 8 Graphics, has a thermal design power (TDP) range of 12-25 watts.



The UD7 supports up to four 4K displays at 60HZ with audio, using a DisplayPort 1.2 connector. The UD7 thin client is configured with 8GB DDR4 memory and an 8GB onboard embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC). It also includes a USB-C interface including DisplayPort 1.4 support, two USB-A 3.2 ports and four USB-A 2.0 ports. Available options include 802.11ac Wireless LAN (WLAN) and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. Furthermore, it supports optional fiber-SFP for up to 1000 base-T/1Gb Ethernet.

Besides its graphics processing capability, IGEL is emphasizing the UD7’s added security. Notably, the UD7 is designed to enable a “chain of trust,” IGEL’s cryptographic signature verification process. The UD7’s dedicated AMD Secure Processor (ASP) and AMD Memory Guard provide a hardware root-of-trust, according to IGEL.

In Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) boot mode, full-memory encryption secures the processing and storage of data and trusted applications. IGEL uses AMD’s ASP technology to provide a dedicated security subsystem in the UD7. The subsystem initiates IGEL’s secure chain of trust at the physical hardware layer. The UD7 will also come with optional smart card reader and Trusted Platform Module (TPM 2.0) support.

IGEL said the UD7 is about half the size and weighs 20% less than its predecessor, the UD6. IGEL is building the UD7’s chassis with 30% recycled plastic. The UD7 will come configured with the IGEL OS Workspace Edition and will support more than 100 partner offerings.

OS Update for WVD Users

IGEL this week also released the latest feature update of its IGEL OS. The latest version, IGEL OS 11.05, includes new capabilities for Microsoft’s WVD issues. To take advantage of the Zoom Plugin for WVD release form Microsoft, IGEL OS supports it by enhancing the real-time communications environments in the virtual workspace.

The IGEL OS 11.05 release adds secure access to USB devices in remote Windows services, which allow the use of attached devices including webcams in WVD sessions. Furthermore, the functionality is provided with redirection software from FabulaTech, a Microsoft WVD partner.

IGEL has also added the ability to securely print using with ThinPrint’s ezeep, which provides cloud-managed printing.

Remote Work Opportunity

The Disrupt Unite event comes two weeks after the announcement that TA Associates will acquire a controlling interest in IGEL. Ayres talked up that news in his remarks.

“This is a huge vote of confidence in IGEL’s growth, in our people and our product,” Ayres said. “And it’s also a big vote of confidence for the overall EUC market opportunity.”

Ayres was bullish on the potential for DaaS and EUC growth before the pandemic struck. Now, he is confident that it will have a lasting impact on the future of work. In turn, that will accelerate demand for DaaS and EUC, he said. Speaking during a Disurpt Unite conference session panel, Pete Downing, chief marketing technology officer with XenTegra, an IGEL partner, agreed.

“It’s amazing how many enterprises realize what they didn’t have by shifting to this work remote mentality,” Downing said. “There’s a lot of technology and innovation that’s going to happen in IT. And IGEL is going to enable that and change the paradigm of how you manage endpoints.”

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About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.

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